Desert Road Trip Day Three: Borrego, Salton Sea, and Joshua Tree

Saturday, April 4, 2015

10:30 a.m. - The view out of my window in the morning was lovely. Depart Yucca Valley for Borrego Springs.

12:00 p.m. - We stop at the large gas station in Salton City that stocks items for the OHV crowd.

1:00 p.m. - We eat lunch at Carmelita's with my aunt and uncle, who have been living in Borrego Springs for 30 years. My uncle, a trim and witty octogenerian, eats us all under the table, polishing off a big enchilada plate and an order of banana chimichangas for dessert.

After lunch, we explore some of the local landmarks including Old Borego, the abandoned gas station, and an authentic London Bus. Did I mention that the ocotillo were in bloom? 

If you're in the Borrego area, Ricardo Breceda's sculptures are a must see. Here I am doing some off-roading.

Photo by David Dasinger

Photo by David Dasinger

You can take Highway 78 between Borrego and the Salton Sea, but SR22 is a prettier drive. While discussing the various groups who have an interest in this beautiful area, David quotes the dirt bikers' creed, "you can't break the desert."

We tour the west side of the Salton Sea, starting in Salton City. I've been meaning to get back to the Sidewinder Snowbird Golf Course, and find it after some wandering.

We drive by some of the local landmarks including Capt'n Jim's, and the former site of the Salton City Yacht Club.

We continue up 86 S to Salton Sea Beach and Desert Shores, stumbling across some burned palm trees that have been carved into chainsaw bears. 

We enjoy the sights, and the late afternoon light.

I convince my compadres to eat at Native Foods in Palm Springs, and then we drive back to Yucca Valley to gear up for some night shooting.

Friend and Joshua Tree resident David Dasinger drives us into the park. The full moon is huge, and there's hardly anyone around. There are so many good views of the wild rocks and dense joshua trees. I set up a long shot, and lay down on a smooth rock to enjoy the view.

Even though it's a full moon, the stars and planets seem more intense out here away from the light pollution. And these trees are crazy. What planet am I on again?

We drive over to the Cap Rock area, and enjoy the scenery.

Thanks again to David for taking us out shooting, and to Steve for being up for exploring the side roads. The trip concludes with a 500 mile drive back to Berkeley on Sunday. We eat PB&J's and do the whole haul in just over 8 hours. Wandering around the desert for a few days and nights is a lot of fun. I hope this trip diary inspires you to go on your own adventure soon!